Bingo by Any Other Name


The great Shakespeare said it best in Romeo & Juliet: "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet". In Juliet's expression in this epic play she disagrees quipping that the names of things do not matter, only what things are……..

The word bingo has been said around the world for centuries as well as played. You can't play bingo and win without shouting B-I-N-G-O! It would most likely take a master mathematician to guesstimate how many times the word 'Bingo' has echoed around the planet.

Look up the meaning in the dictionary you will find 'a form of lotto in which balls or slips, each with a number and one of the letters B, I, N, G, or O, are drawn at random and players cover the corresponding numbers printed on their cards, the winner being the first to cover five numbers in any row or diagonal or, sometimes, all numbers on the card'.

But over the years it has taken on more meanings as in to express suddenness or swiftness or acknowledgement a sudden understanding like 'Bingo you got it what i meant'!

The children nursery rhymes: There was a farmer had a dog, and Bingo was his name-o. B-I-N-G-O! B-I-N-G-O! B-I-N-G-O! And Bingo was his name-o! This catchy little tune could be heard in schools near and far and it stuck straight through to adulthood.

Movies have been inspired by the name Bingo with the 1964 class film Beach Blanket Bingo. The film opens at the beach, where Frankie (Frankie Avalon) and Dee Dee (Annette Funicello) are searching for a radio station on their transistor radio. Once they locate it, they sing the film's title song, "Beach Blanket Bingo." 1991 Bingo the movie is a plot about a runaway circus dog befriends a young boy who has trouble fitting in with his friends.

Bands borrow the name with local favorites like Bingo Dream Band and Backseat Bingo. And of course let's not forget Steve Miller Band who released an album called Bingo in 2010.

Where did the name Bingo originate? It was 1929 when Ed Lowe introduced the game called Beano in New York. A woman excited with her became tongue tied and instead of shouting Beano she stuttered out BINGO! "I cannot describe the strange sense of elation which that girl's cry brought to me," Lowe said. "All I could think of was that I was going to come out with this game, and it was going to be called Bingo!"

Juliet the daughter of Capulet and the patriarch of the family may have been wrong in saying names do not matter and could certainly be up for debate. Bingo by any other name simply wouldn't be the same as the legend of Bingo and those who borrow the name grows by leaps and bounds.

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